In the world of print-on-demand, if you’re looking for a technique to create stunning and unique t-shirts in Redbridge Ilford, you might need to consider sublimation printing. In this blog post, we’ll explain what sublimation printing is, how it works, and why it’s a great option for t-shirt lovers. We’ll also share some tips and tricks on how to get the best out of sublimation printing, and some examples of sublimation t-shirts that will inspire you. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
What is Sublimation dyeing or printing?
Sublimation is a physical phenomenon where a substance changes from solid to gas without passing through liquid. Also known as AOP – all over print – sublimation printing is a method that allows inks to be transferred onto the product using heat. Sublimation is a go to printing method for creating all-over print products as it allows printing on fabric from seam to seam.
This process yields vibrant, high resolution and high-quality graphics on your apparel. The process is suitable for full coverage and high-resolution designs that won’t crack or peel over time. You can easily have an all over print (AOP) with sublimation on t-shirts, mugs, pillows, and phone cases.
How does Sublimation Work?
In Sublimation t-shirt printing, the artwork is printed with sublimation ink onto sublimation paper, then wrapped around a blank item and pressed in a heat press. The ink gets heated, and turns into gas and fuses with the material, such as polyester fabric, creating a permanent and vibrant design. This technique gives absolutely long-lasting results which do not crack, peel or fade away with time.
The Advantages and Limitations of Sublimation Printing.
Sublimation printing has revolutionized the world of t-shirt printing and Redbridge, Ilford are not exception. It offers both advantages and disadvantages to consider, from its ability to produce intricate designs with unmatched clarity to its limitations on fabric choices. Consider the pros and cons of sublimation in t-shirt printing, in order to make an informed decision when choosing the best method for your printing needs.
Understanding the Advantages
- It allows for unlimited design options, including full-color designs and photo-realistic images. It offers high precision and fine details, making it suitable for intricate motifs and all-over printing. Whether you go for an all over print with unicorn, a green-on-green leaves pattern, clouds and rainbows or simply galaxies, the options are countless.
- It has low set up costs and flexibility for small runs which is perfect for small batch orders.
- It creates durable prints that are infused within the material, rather than just sitting on the top or sticking to the surface. It produces vibrant colors that are long-lasting and won’t fade or crack over time.
- This is one of the few methods which allows printing not only on fabric but on rigid surfaces as well, like mugs or other drinkware, photo slates, plates, wallets, clocks, flip flops and what not.
- One significant benefit of dye-sub printing is the ability to print continuous color tones. Sublimation printers apply different amounts of individual CMYK inks on top of each other to create the desired color. You can even print photographic images onto the garment without losing any of the minute details. Considering the colour options and vibrancy, sky is the limit for sublimation printing.
Considering the Limitations
Like everything else in this world, sublimation dyeing too, comes with some limitations.
- The main weakness of sublimation dyeing lies in the limitation while selecting the material to be printed on. Whatever you plan to print on must either be at least 2/3 polyester (garments, textiles) or have a polymer/polyester coating for e.g., mugs, mobile covers etc. for an effective and desired output.
- The process is slower than using inkjet printing, and requires additional labor, which can cause the price to be a bit higher than other processes. Dye-sub printing is one of the most expensive printing methods, though it won’t be as costly as DTG printing, the cost goes up as you look for the best dye sublimation printers and other equipment like sublimation paper, inks and heat press.
- As the sublimation ink gets absorbed into the fabric, colour migration can be an issue. It is translucent and works best only on white and light-coloured fabrics and would give entirely different result after printing on dark colors.
- Sublimation printing is limited in terms of the color options that are available. There might be a difficulty in matching a Pantone colour with a CMYK ink (as used in sublimation printing) if required by a customer.
- When going for an all-over print, the garment must be aligned with utmost care and precision or else the design could be misprinted. A tiny dent or crease on the protective paper if missed can ruin the whole design by transferring those creases to the garment..
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